Best of the Year

Long Wait to Defect From Assad’s Forces

"Of course I want to defect but I cannot give up my salary. How could I possibly feed my 11 children?" The war is putting every Syrian on the brink, including this policeman on the side of President Bashar Al Assad.

Within ‘Special Cell’ of Delhi Police, A History of Falsifying Evidence – Part 3*

The Delhi Police Special Cell, which has accused an Indian journalist and four Iranians of conspiring to bomb an Israeli embassy car in Delhi Feb. 13, has a long history of planting evidence on those it has accused and of obtaining false confessions, according to court records now cited by critics of the police unit.

Police Case for Iranian Bomb Plot Based on Tainted Evidence – Part 2*

The "Special Cell" of the Delhi police has identified an Iranian, Houshang Afghan Irani, as the man it believes carried out the Feb. 13 car bombing at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi that injured the wife of an embassy official. The police believe three other Iranians were also involved in the plot.

Evidence in Delhi Embassy Bombing Suggests Journalist Was Framed – Part 1*

New Delhi police officials have released hundreds of pages of documents from their investigation into the Feb. 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car. The documents aimed to show that a well-known Indian Muslim journalist aided an Iranian conspiracy to plan and carry out the bombing.

There’s Bride at the End of the Tunnel

Mai Ahmed, a 26–year-old from the West Bank fell in love over the Internet with Mohammed Warda from Nussirat refugee camp in Gaza after they ‘met’ on the Internet. The Israeli government refused permission for her to travel to Gaza. Mai travelled to Jordan, flew from there to Egypt, drove across the Sinai, and then crossed through a tunnel into Gaza, where she now lives. “It’s a story I will tell my grandchildren,” she says.

The Gambian government, has provided farmers in 10 of the country’s most-vulnerable districts with inputs such as power tillers, tractors, rice threshers, seeders, sine hoes and bags of fertilisers. Credit: DW / Manuel Özcerkes/ CC by 2.0

“Operation No Back Way to Europe” Keeps Young Farmers at Home in Gambia

Mohamed Ceesay, a 20-year-old farmer from the Central River Region in the Gambia, is a high school dropout. But thanks to an initiative to discourage local youths from emigrating to Europe, he earns almost half the salary of a government minister from his rice harvest.

Syrian Crisis Brings a Blessing for Kurds

The smuggler wants 200 dollars but Jewan negotiates him down to 100. That’s still a lot for this 26-year-old Syrian Kurd, but he can hardly wait to cross the border to Syria from Iraq. It’s been three years since he last saw his family.

Colombian President Meets with Nasa Indians

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos travelled to a native reserve in the southwest of the country Wednesday to meet with thousands of indigenous people who had gathered there for nearly a week, demanding an end to fighting in their territory.

Running From the Guns

As fighting rages on in Syria, thousands of civilians are fleeing the country with little more than their families and the clothes on their backs, seeking refuge on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Families of ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ Victims Still Struggling

Sachiko Masumura (79) was standing just two kilometres away from the hypocentre of Little Boy, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan over six and a half decades ago.

Malawi Checks China’s African Advance

The move in Malawi to close down Chinese businesses outside of the four major cities has been condemned as xenophobic by rights organisations. A new law enforced Jul. 31 barred foreigners from carrying out trade in Malawi’s outlying and rural areas.

Small-scale Fisherfolk in Rio de Janeiro – a Vanishing Species

"My sons will be anything, but never fishermen,” said 32-year-old Maicon Alexandre, the youngest of the leaders of Ahomar, a union of small-scale fisherpeople on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

India

UNESCO Protection Crucial – and Controversial

It took six years for a dedicated team of scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India, wildlife officials from six Indian states and officials from the federal ministry to secure international protection for one of India’s most precious biological reserves.

“We Tripantu”, the Mapuche people’s new year celebration

"We Tripantu" means "rising of the new sun," and is the new year celebration of the Mapuche people, held over the shortest days of the year in the southern hemisphere, coinciding with the winter solstice.

Will Austerity Prompt Nuclear Disarmament?

The changing international political order and a dramatic budgetary situation at home are forcing France to consider giving up the extremely expensive nuclear arsenal the country has maintained since the late 1950s.

East Africa’s Financial Integration Slow off the Starting Blocks

For months now East Africans have been expectantly waiting for an economic revolution to begin as they anticipate the launch of a new standardised payment system that will integrate the electronic transfer of money in the region. But continued delays in the launch of the system have economists fearing that the weak financial infrastructure here is hindering its implementation.


Poverty Drives Child Labour

In an informal settlement of 10,000 people on the outskirts of Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, Tembari Children’s Care – a new grassroots initiative – is providing protection, food and education to orphans and abandoned children who would otherwise join the high numbers of child labourers in this Melanesian country.

Fishermen Caught on a Political Hook

“The number will never come to zero and in a few months you will see as many captive fishermen, maybe even more to fill the prison barracks,” says Mohammad Ali Shah of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), following the release of more than 300 Indian fishermen from Pakistani jails.

MEXICO: Whatever It Takes to Win the Poor Vote

"It's like the parties are competing with each other to see who spends the most money. In a state as poor as ours, that's indecent," Alex, a 30-year-old taxi driver in this city of the southern state of Chiapas, just 30 minutes from the Guatemalan border, told IPS.

No Strategy for Civilisation in Crisis

The Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul in 1996 was one of the international meetings most open to civil society participation.

Mauritian Farmers Hooked on Fair Trade

In finding a way to survive a 36 percent cut in sugar prices, Mauritian farmers are not only exporting a variety of fruit and vegetables to the European Union, but they have also begun farming in a more environmentally sustainable way.

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